Why pay for a background check, when the internet provides you with free background checks?

Background Checks Part II – discrimination, privacy, accuracy and compliance

As a professional, many of us are troubled by the notion that we may be judged by our actions, our history, our lifestyle, or the people we associate with.

In some cases we go through great lengths to create separation between our personal or public lives, even creating multiple silos within our personal and professional lives to create harmony and goodwill in our conversation.

Using myself as a personal example: I am the person who can have almost any conversation on almost any topic. I have a thick skin that is supported by a multi-faceted personality with humor, morality, and respect at its core. I have had the benefit of dealing with life and death crisis situations, personal tragedy, and industry changing business problems. With that said, I can talk to almost anyone on any subject.I know when to admit to things I do not know, and when to ask the hard questions.

The social media world creates a strange track history of my interactions with these conversations. I have a personal poetry site that doesn’t have a thing to do with my business life, and like every other person: my friends have a myriad of personal beliefs ranging from extreme religion to activism.

With such a varied personal and professional background, the web audience at large could dig into any particular silo and eventually find something they do not agree with… but they can also see a breadth of experience. Read more

Background Checks, Pandoras Box, digital espionage, or public info?

What if you could take anyone you know and ask a question about them, without them knowing it? The digital world has created a virtual version of Pandora’s box, a secret treasure trove of information and insight that only a few people know how to use. If you had keys to this vault of information, if someone gave you a map to nearly infinite knowledge… would you use it?

Probably not.

In reality, every person who lives in the modern world has access to such information. The simple fact is that many of us are completely overwhelmed by the amount of information we need to sift through… having few or non-existent methods for qualifying how we spend our time sifting through it.

It is a simple fact that hundreds of millions of people use web-enabled cell phones, and that 3G / 4G units are quickly covering the world (on June 24th, Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs stated the worldwide 3G users surpassed one billion.)

Consider your network.

Imagine how much information exists for you online, created both by you, your family, your friends, your co-workers, your competitors, and everything that has been done in the past.

Now think about the people you care about: your family and friends. Multiple the information that you have online by the number of people you consider “close to you”

Now ask about Pandora’s Box.

If Pandora’s Box (the web) could answer these questions… would you want to know? is it your right to know?

  • Where was my spouse last Saturday night?
  • How many parties did my employee attend in 2010?
  • Is my new business partner in any risky groups?
  • What did this public employee do for fun yesterday?

These are all incredibly complex questions that could be rooted in entirely reasonable viewpoints… but they all define the “double edged sword” of information freedom and personal privacy. We know more about each other than we ever did… and that information is being used by our our family, our friends, the public, and our enemies.

In a perfect world many of us probably wouldn’t complain too much about our family and friends using Pandora’s box, but seeing as the profit of our personal information is being driven by the public and by our enemies… Pandora’s box has been arguably flung open by the loving term “social media.”

What do you think of Pandora’s Box?

READ MORE: Background Checks Pt II – Discrimination, privacy, accuracy and compliance.